The increasing frequency of extreme weather anomalies is an impulse to further debate on how to adapt the economy and society to the impacts of climate change. The objective of this article is to present the global climate policy framework and related chal lenges for rural development. The article discusses documents which contain the results of negotiations carried out during Climate Summits held in the period 1992–2015. Socio-economic background of the climate agreements was characterized based on the data of the World Bank, Eurostat and Central Statistical Office (GUS). An analysis of literature together with the Authors’ expertise were the sources of arguments regarding the future of rural areas in the reality of the global climate policy tightening.